I don't always draw a direct connection between my ideas and writing. This is because the idea covers so many aspects of writing that it is faster and easier to just give you the principle and let you apply it. Such was the case with yesterday's post.
Frankly, you should always try to apply a principle to everything possible. Most things that apply to you can also apply to your characters. It might also apply to your other endeavors. It might also apply to your friends.
More often than not, I give principles, not lessons. A lesson is a single tool which you can add to your toolbox and pull out when you come across a situation that can be fixed with that tool. A principle is a truth which can be used in several situations.
Lessons are useful. They are direct and usually simple (the best tools usually are). Principles require more thought because you have to see that it can apply to a situation and figure out how to apply it. But the fact that it can be applied to so many different situations is its value.
The best writers are the ones who can apply a principle (or a concept) in a nonstandard way. It is a powerful combination of the familiar and the novel (by which I mean new). The best way to find these is to play around with principles. Try to apply them to everything around you.